One of the more unique units of the National Conservation Lands. Be sure to check out the friends group that is working to map and protect this place: the Fort Stanton Cave Study Project.
Today, we add Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area to the Summer Bucket List because it is a place like no other - with recreation opportunities and historical significance above ground and a cave with rare minerals underground.
BLM New Mexico’s Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area has 93 miles of horseback, mountain biking, and hiking trails winding through meadows and canyons for visitors to experience. Other recreational opportunities are camping, visiting cultural and historic sites, picnicking, hunting, wildlife viewing, nature study, and photography.
The Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave NCA is the only NCA designated as the result of a cave on BLM land, but it’s not only known for its cave. The surface is popular with equestrians and mountain bikers. The NCA was established in 2009 and includes about 25,080 acres.
At the NCA visitors can get a glimpse of history and take advantage of great recreational opportunities. Fort Stanton Cave has over 26 miles of mapped passages (the 20th longest cave in the U.S.) and is usually open for recreational caving, but because of the threat of White nose Syndrome in Bats it is not allowed right now. Rio Bonito Petroglyph National Recreation Trail gives visitors the chance to experience petroglyphs from ancient people, the Jornada Mogollon. Historic Fort Stanton, a New Mexico State Monument, is one of the few intact frontier forts in the West.
Fort Stanton-Snowy River NCA is located between Capitan and Lincoln, New Mexico. The NCA is free and open year round!
For more information visit the Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area website:http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/roswell/fort_stanton_nca.html
You can learn more about the Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area on YouTube as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=738jMijGv_I&feature=c4-overview&list=UU27T9eDfe8iM-q9-4I8fBEA
By: Emilee Cantrell